TfL brings fresh sounds to the Tube with a new wave of buskers

08 August 2017

For the first time in two years, Transport for London (TfL) is holding auditions to find new musicians to perform on the Tube as part of its licensed busking scheme. These auditions will bring an even more diverse group of artists to the Underground to entertain customers, supplementing the 250 musicians already on the scheme.

Nearly 5 million journeys are made on the Underground each day and busking offers a unique opportunity for performers to reach a wider audience than usual. Successful applicants will be awarded a London Underground busking license, allowing them to perform at designated locations at Tube stations.

They will join a long busking tradition which has been part of the careers of international stars such as Ed Sheeran, Bob Geldof and Jessie J.

This year, TfL will be working with instrument specialists Yamaha Music London to host a series of auditions. Auditions will also take place at Tube stations and iconic music venues around London. The applicants will have to impress a panel of expert judges from the music industry and will be judged according to their repertoire, technical ability and performance skills.

The Underground's licensed busking programme is linked to the Mayor's Busk in London programme, which encourages and supports street performances throughout the city.

Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries, Justine Simons, said: `London is a world leader for culture. Around every corner there is a cultural gem bringing our city to life, and nowhere is this more apparent than with the atmosphere buskers create on the Underground, where live performances are enjoyed by thousands of people every day. London is open to talent and creativity from around the world, and I would urge any aspiring artist to audition for a coveted place on the Underground busking programme.'

Mark Wild, Managing Director of London Underground, said, `Over the years busking has become an essential part of London Underground's identity and has provided a springboard for many of today's artists that we have come to know and love. This new wave of auditions will bring in a new range of musicians who will continue the strong tradition of entertaining our customers with a high standard of music.'

The closing date for applications is 23:59 on Sunday 13 August with the first auditions taking place on 21 August.

Notes to Editors

  • Applications are now open:
  • There are over 1,800 bookable performance slots every week.
  • To apply for an audition, applicants must be 16 years over but only soloists and duos can be accepted for auditions. All applicants will need to prove that they are a resident in the United Kingdom and have a work permit. There are no restrictions on instruments, but not all busking pitches are suitable for all instruments, London Underground will provide a list of pitches and suitable instruments.